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Getting to Know: Michael Naylor

Michael Naylor has spent a lot of time studying financial advisers - but he wants you to know he's not a "loony-leftie" academic.

Friday, July 14th 2017, 11:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

Who are you and what do you do?

Michael Naylor and I teach and research into investment and insurance at Massey University.

What prompted your interest in financial advice and financial services?

After leaving New Zealand in 1992, due to lack of jobs, I moved to Singapore and then Malaysia. While working at a university, I become involved in setting up and teaching financial planning. In 1999, I was brought back to New Zealand by Massey to teach risk management and set up Massey’s insurance graduate diploma. As part of that, I became involved with the IAFP, then the FPIA, then the IFA. From talking to many students and advisers over the years, I have become very involved in the New Zealand financial and insurance advice industry.

I come from a rural village background and I seem to have an unusually large number of school friends who have suffered severe accidents. I have thus spent time in spinal hospitals and care facilities, which gave me a keen empathy for the issues which the handicapped face. I thus have a high level of passion about the worth of insurance.

If there is one thing you would like to change about the financial advice industry, what would it be? 

Increase the trust the New Zealand public have for the value of financial and insurance advice.

What’s the best advice you have ever received?

Not to care too much about what others think and to do what’s right.

What would you like advisers to understand about the work you do?

That finance academics aren’t the loonie-left ivory tower types. That our job is to help upskill the industry and make it more professional.

Are you a KiwiSaver member?

Yes, but only recently. The Massey Super scheme offers a better deal.

If so, what’s your investment strategy?

At my age – growth mutual funds.

Outside of work what do you do? 

I love movies, great literature, good friends and the New Zealand bush.

What would you say if one of your kids told you they wanted to be a financial adviser?

It’s a great career, and one which is future-proofed. You’ll need to have more charm and a memory for names than I do.

What’s one thing people may be surprised to know about you?

That I spent 18 months traveling through and living in the world’s poorest countries. One of my favourite memories is of cruising up the Congo River in the deepest heart of the rainforest, sitting on the barge roof with Reggae and Congo-beat music blasting out as canoes emerged from the middle of nowhere.

If you weren’t in this job what would you be doing? 

Working for a consultancy firm or investment bank.

What would you like to be doing in 10 years' time?

Happily retired and travelling the world with my wife. There are still 150 countries I haven’t been to. Probably writing the occasional provocative book.

Tags: financial advisers Getting to Know health insurance IFA investment KiwiSaver Massey University\ risk management

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